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Buffing surface scratches

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by tplyons, Aug 7, 2004.


  1. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Hi, I have a couple hairline scratches in my finish on the shoulders and it's really quite annoying on such a shiny instrument to have those eyesore scratches. It looks like a fingernail run through the upper layer of the finish, could I buff it out?
     
  2. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Generally, if you can "feel" the scratch with your fingernail, you often can't just "buff it out." You can sand it out with wetordry paper, then rub the area with a rubbing or mild cutting compound, then finish with a polish (NOT wax). If you've never sanded out scratches before, start with a very fine grit -- I'd even recommend as high as 1000 -- it'll take a little longer, but you'll be far less likely to get carried away and go through the finish. Check your progress often.

    If when running your fingernail over the scratch you DON'T feel it, you can usually skip the sanding, start right in with the rubbing compound and follow with polish.

    Good luck!
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Or play a lot of gigs and get scratches on the rest of the bass to match.
     
  4. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I can't feel the scratches, just see them, and it's kind of annoying. They're hairline at the largest, is there anything I can do?

     
  5. I'm always telling everyone about that Old English Scratch cover. It comes in several different shades. You just rub it in...scratch gone! Get it at your local super market.
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I've been warned against this as Olde English has oil in it and if a crack ever needed to be repaired where you used it the oil would prevent hide glue from schtiking.
     
  7. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Like I said, you can get right to rubbing with rubbing with compound, then follow with polish.
     
  8. You don't have to use hide glue in cracks.
     
  9. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    If you use toothpaste, you can rub and polish simulataneously. (ie., I use it).
     
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...but then there's the annoying whitening and freshened breath that goes along with it.
     
  11. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    So you fix the scratch ... what happens next time you play a gig? Or does she wear a bib?
     
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Only for the 'rub and polish'.
     
  13. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    A bass should wear its scratches proudly. They add character, and are all part of the "maturation" process. Like a good pair of woods boots.
     
  14. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Really? What do you suggest?
     
  15. Jeeze Arnold, right after I posted that I thought "you're gonna have all the luthiers in your face...."
    A real well known luthier (not Bob Ross...who said don't let them think I use anything but hide!) told me once that in certain instances, depending where the crack was he would use some other glues.
    Anyway I take that statement back.....and sorry Ray.
    Anyway that scratch cover works well for surface scratches that are not near repairs.
     
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I thought that sounded funny... :)
     
  17. contrabajisimo

    contrabajisimo

    Feb 9, 2004
    Chicago
    Are there any products specifically for string instruments that can be used to cosmetically "touch-up" the place where the finish has been scratched off and the plywood is seen very clearly? What would you recommend and where can I get it? Thanks.
     
  18. i cant tell with out seeing said scratches, but i got two words...

    micro mesh

    they carry it at international violin co. (supprizingly the best price i've found) and at fine woodworking outlet. it is simply amazing stuff...
     
  19. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    anybody ever try a buffing arbor? I got this little attachment for my dremel-tool copy that's basically a cotton wheel on a drill bit end. Got me some find jewellers rouge and have been buffing out scratches on my cd's with some success (it's nice reviving those cd's that you once thought were totally lost). Polished my watch the other day too. Think I might try it when I get home. Don't see why it wouldn't work, especially if you have that lacquer finish like mine does. Not sure if it would work on a rubbed-on finish. And of course there are always some that are so deep you can't do anything about them.
     
  20. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Don't know how fast those Dremels get going, but you have to be careful with hi-speed polishing. Depending on the compound, speed, pressure, movement, etc., you can burn through finish before you know it.